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Born in Illinois on July 3, 1940, George Carlson studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Arizona, Tucson. His work has been exhibited at the Governor’s Invitational, Denver, Colorado; the Denver Museum of Natural History; the Indianapolis Museum of Fine Arts; the National Academy of Design; the Phoenix Art Museum; the Smithsonian Institution; and the Autry National Center.
Recognized as one of America’s greatest sculptors, Carlson is also a master at using pastels and oils. His art has been shown internationally at the Hakone Open-Air Museum, Tokyo, Japan; the Kyoto World Exposition of Historical Cities, Japan; and the Peking Exhibit, Beijing, China. His works are in many prominent collections. In 1999, Carlson received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree from the University of Idaho. Southwest Art and Wildlife Art magazines both featured his work in 2002.
In 2010, and again in 2011, Carlson won both the Prix de West Award and the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award in the Prix de West Show at National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City. At the 2010 Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale, Carlson received both the Booth Western Art Museum Artists' Choice Award and the Masters of the American West Purchase Award for his painting In the Shadow of the Sun, and at the 2009 Masters he won the Booth Western Art Museum Artists' Choice Award. At the 2005 Masters he was honored with the John J. Geraghty Award in recognition of his advancement of contemporary Western art and his sculpture The Conqueror won the Masters of the American West Purchase Award.